Germany’s employment agency plans to address forthcoming changes and restructuring in the auto industry and other sectors by offering counselling to affected workers.

“We have set aside around 1.1 billion euros (1.2 billion dollars) in the budget for these purposes,” Federal Employment Agency chief Detlef Scheele told dpa. “We are continuing to cultivate the agency for this and are beginning to qualify our staff for the task.”

The German government paved the way for the move with the Qualification Opportunities Act at the beginning of the year.

According to Scheele, the agency is under pressure to take action as the work environment adapts to the digital era. It also faces challenges in supporting German workers as the car industry shifts its focus to electric cars.

Many workers in the car industry specifically will not be able to avoid adapting to the need for additional training, he said.

“I would like the agency not only to remain an authority to turn to for those already unemployed, but also to become an institution that advises and guides employees when they are unsure about how their workplace is changing,” Scheele said.

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